As children, we are very trusting towards most people we meet. Hence, children get taught “stranger danger” at school. From the day we are born we learn that there are two people that we can always trust and rely on: our parents. Our parents raise us, teach us, put food in our mouths and clothes on our backs and protect us from the big bad world that we have just become a part of. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me and I’m sure for some of you reading this too. Yes, I was raised and fed and clothed, but I was also abused. My own father broke my heart before any man could and ultimately left me with many mental scars and trust issues. While on this rocky road of recovery, I thought I would give you a look behind the scenes of living with trust issues to help you understand your own trust issues or help you understand how someone close to you feels.
I Am Always On Edge
Living with trust issues sucks big time. No matter where I am, or who I am with, I am always on edge. I don’t feel safe. At any time someone could hurt me. While out in public, I am unable to relax and I am very tense. My body and mind are on high alert, scoping out the area to see who is around me and what is going on. It’s very exhausting to fight the urge to run away and hide, so I do my best to only go out in public when I truly have to, or if I am with my boyfriend. After three years of knowing him, I have now learned that he won’t hurt me; he will protect me no matter what. When I am with him, I am less on edge but still hyper-aware of what is happening around me, making sure that I know where I am, who is around me and where I can run and hide if need be.
I Have Built A Fortress Of Walls Around Myself
A big part of having trust issues is building a wall to keep people at a distance, so you don’t become emotionally involved or hurt. A person who has built up walls can seem very closed off and cold towards others and that’s the way they want to be. This is also another wall they have created that keeps people away.
I tend to do this a lot and people have told me that I always have a resting bitch face and that I am not a very approachable person, which is fine by me! Although, when I worked in retail, I wasn’t able to do this. I had to be approachable and welcoming, which was very hard for me at times because it was exhausting. I was constantly on edge because I couldn’t have my cold demeanor of a wall up to protect myself.
I am always second guessing and doubting people’s kindness
Have you ever been in a situation where someone is being overly kind to you? Does it make you confused because you think they are being too kind and you feel like they are just doing it to try and butter you up and get what they want? If yes, you will have an understanding of what I mean when I say that I always second guess and doubt people’s kindness.
When someone is kind to me, I find it very difficult to accept the kindness and believe that they have an ulterior motive for being so nice to me. Thoughts like “what do they want?”, or “what are they actually trying to do?”, whirl through my mind and I begin to overthink about what they may want from me. Although they could be genuinely nice people and being kind because that is who they are, I just don’t see it at the time.
After I am out of that situation and nothing bad happened I start to think “huh, maybe they are just nice”. Unfortunately, at the time, I am never that rational.
I don’t have many personal connections
If you have trust issues, or know someone with trust issues, you may have noticed that there aren’t many personal connections. After I stopped being friends with girls who I thought were my best friends, I realised that I really couldn’t trust people. People could be so kind, caring and helpful to you for years and then, because they don’t get their own way, they do a complete one-eighty on you and try to ruin your life. So I decided then that I was better off staying on my own. I was fine on my own and I thought that I didn’t need anybody.
And that is exactly what happened during the last two years of school. I was left on my own and I preferred it that way. I could trust myself and that’s all I needed. When I needed to talk to people, I would turn to the online community I was in and that is how I met my boyfriend and my best friend. These two people have spent years virtually by my side and have been through a hell of a lot with me. They are the only two people in this world that I can open up to, although it took them both a LONG time to start breaking down the many walls I have and show me that I could trust them.
I become very uncomfortable in social situations
As I have previously mentioned in my article “An Insight Into My Anxiety” I am a very unsocial person and being around people is truly difficult for me. It gets to the point that once I get home I need to sleep because I am so exhausted from battling my mind and trying to keep my guard up.
I have difficulty with friendships and relationships
It took me a long time to trust and open up to my boyfriend and my best friend. I still have days where I second guess or doubt their friendship and love. Why would they like me? Do they just want to mess with me and break my heart even more than it already is? This can cause tension within my relationship and friendships but I am learning to control that side of my trust issues. In all the years I have known them, they have never done anything to make me ever doubt their loyalty and love for me. Heck, my boyfriend travelled halfway across the world to spend two months with me because he loves me that much!
I am unable to open up to people
In some of my previous articles, I have mentioned that I suffer from depression and anxiety. This leads to bad days and many mixed emotions from time to time. When I am struggling, I find it impossible to actually open up to people and tell them what is going on inside my head, which doesn’t end well.
When my boyfriend and I first got together, I would never tell him when I wasn’t feeling good. Then it would lead me to take all that pain out on him, which wasn’t fair. These bottled up emotions would then lead to a fight that would last for days.
I don’t tend to talk about my depression and anxiety with people a lot but I find writing this, and writing all about it on my own blog, has helped me to open up that little bit more and talk about what I have gone through and survived over the years.
Having trust issues can cause many problems for both you and the people around you. My biggest piece of advice would be to take your time opening up and taking those walls down. Test the waters before diving into a friendship or relationship, learn everything you can and then make your decision. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, trust your gut. Your head can play tricks on you.
About The Author…
Anne is from Ireland who is now made a huge move across the world to New Zealand. She is also an assistant at Quiet Nonsense and runs her own blog www.foreverthewanderer.ie with topics including travel, mental health and so much more. Anne dreams of/ is working towards becoming a professional blogger.